A Straight Axle Street Scene

A Straight Axle Street Scene

It’s funny how the mind works. This week, I planned to steer this post in a completely different direction—a place of dropped axles and whitewalls and chopped tops and finned valve covers and dust old magazine pages. But somehow, in the mix of things, the project got a little sidetracked.

We’ve all been there before. You have tasks. They stack up. Maybe they’re on a chalkboard, in a notebook or on the back of a receipt from the parts store. Maybe they’re fun. Maybe they’re not. It doesn’t matter what you have to do—or not do—the thought of an old car can always get in the way.

With that being said, I’m shuffling my other story ideas to the backburner and instead focusing on something a little odd. Yes! Today we have another mystery Thunderbird that, unlike the last one, hasn’t been gathering digital dust in my archives for the better part of five years. Instead, this is one that popped up on the H.A.M.B. somewhat recently—and it has my attention.

Look at the photo. Can you see why? There’s nothing subtle going on here. If you’re trying to anger the Baby Bird fan club, this would be the shot to show them. Stance is the name of the game here, and this particular T-Bird has it in spades. Up front, the owner lifted the nose with a pair of parallel leaves and what appears to be a tube axle. The brakes are chromed early Ford drums. When paired with the high-profile tires and slot mags, it’s apparent that weight savings wasn’t a high priority. Out back, you’ll see chromed steelies wrapped in reasonably sized slicks. If I had to guess, I’d wager the rearend was an Olds/Pontiac piece. Small ladder bars were used.

As far as the rest of the modifications go, well, there aren’t any we can see. The bodywork remains stock, and it seems as if every piece of badging and trim is where it should be. No blowers/injectors/tube/scoops sticking through the hood, and no psychedelic paintwork on the flanks. The whole thing makes sense. Well, as much sense as a jacked-up early Thunderbird can.

Taking a step back, I’m questioning if this is a vintage photo at all. The overall focus is sharp, but it looks suspiciously sharp on that left front wheel. If that weren’t enough, the rearend has also been narrowed so that the slicks aren’t jutting out beyond the quarter panels—a drag-strip staple. Good custom work or good Photoshop work? Who’s to say.

At the end of the day, this photo it’s very in-line (or “on brand,” as they say) with the type of machines I gravitate towards. In the past few months, I’ve written about a Thunderbirddrag racing, model kits and a barber shop here on The Jalopy Journal. Coincidentally, this shot has all that—plus more. Know anything about it?

Joey Ukrop 

Photo originally posted by Swi66 here on the H.A.M.B. 

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